Peter Foster Profile picture
Public Policy Ed @financialtimes. Opinions my own. Pre-order: What Went Wrong with Brexit:
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Oct 4, 2018 7 tweets 7 min read
So what did @eucopresident say to @campaignforleo at their meeting today?

Yesterday @simoncoveney was talking "flexibility". /1 @eucopresident @campaignforleo @simoncoveney Then this morning, the FT reported that Ireland was prepared to back British proposal for all-UK customs arrangement on the backstop /2
Oct 4, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
Interesting case this.... Poland puts activist on SIS II watchlist that banned her from Schengen Zone.

Germany issued visa nonetheless, so she could attend conference attacking Polish government

Poland unhappy. More here 1/… Now it seems like the British government also issued her a visa.

The fitness of the Polish judicial system is already under review relating to the European Arrest Warrant.

Now it seems like Germany and UK are not showing solidarity with Poland on Schengen Information System./2
Oct 2, 2018 20 tweets 31 min read
What's happening in #Brexit...lots of noise about on the post Salzburg plan... here's what I know, with inputs from both sides.

1/Thread So let's start with the post-Salzburg plan. Multiple versions about - I've written on Chequers 2.0, as has @SamuelMarcLowe and @JohnSpringford of @CER_EU whose paper is here:… /2
Oct 1, 2018 9 tweets 5 min read
Very quick thread on why Hunt's frustration with EU is understandable, but ultimately counter-productive /1… Let's be clear, there has been some silly stuff from both sides - @EmmanuelMacron should know better that talking about "liars" and @eucopresident trolling May on Instagram is also pretty daft. /2
Sep 28, 2018 6 tweets 3 min read
So @BorisJohnson has put out his "plan" for #Brexit.

Predictably, it has had holes picked in it - since there are indeed plenty of mighty assumptions in the 'plan'.

But I fear that misses the point. This is a political document, not a technical one. 1/… @BorisJohnson And when you read it in that light, it becomes rather more persuasive.

Brexit is indeed a muddle and a mess. The British frog is indeed being boiled. Brexit probably always was/is more binary than both sides have properly allowed. /2
Sep 23, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
These divisions were always over-reported and over-spun by No-10. Yes, some say different but in 27 context (viz Orban last week) they don’t. And drill down with their dips on how far they really support splitting freedoms? Not so much. I’ve tried. Doesn’t stack up IMO. Then May/No10 over reads what she gets told in bilaterals (where she is wooden and hopeless) and takes what one EU dip from big EU state said to me were “mere generalities, pleasantries” about “wanting a deal” for a willingness to cross major red lines. Salzburg says not.
Sep 13, 2018 25 tweets 6 min read
The Salzburg summit looms, Raab plays to home crowd over the #Brexit bill, everyone 'wants' a deal ...but yet no-one can explain what it will look like.

So what is happening with #Brexit? Some thoughts after chats with both sides. 1/Thread… The first point is that the clock is ticking, but time is standing still.

Raab talks about "good progress" but actually talks are at a standstill. He bounces around looking all perky and boxerly, but there's isn't much to say. On the tough stuff anyway. /2
Sep 10, 2018 13 tweets 10 min read
So today, and all this week, @Telegraph is publishing a piece on the 'Future of Europe'.

First up, it's not a bashing exercise. It's a serious look at where the EU finds itself as one its largest members departs.

A fulcrum moment... 1/thread… @Telegraph I'm first up, reporting from the conservative heartlands of Poland (Kobylin-borzymy) and asking what the EU does about the newly assertive eastern states, who are not homogenising as everyone assumed...turns out history is not dead. /2
Sep 7, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
Sir Ivan Rogers has made another substantial intervention into the #Brexit debate.

And he makes a very clever argument as to why EU should compromise over Ireland border/Future Relationship. Though frets that it this is not the likely course. 1/Thread… He starts be warning we are at risk "sleepwalking" to disaster as both sides talk past each other. /2
Sep 5, 2018 4 tweets 3 min read
Interesting Mujtaba Rahman note from @EurasiaGroup


- Paris, Berlin are behind Barnier.
- Conjoined twin backstop idea dead.
- EU digging in over backstop. Will only offer fluffy language in future declaration to help May say won't be needed.

Iceberg off port bow.. @EurasiaGroup The real question is this:

If FCA/Chequers is dead - ie the cakeist idea of 'dual tariff - then how does EU of "FTA + Customs Co-operation" fix the Irish problem.

Answer: it doesn't. It's just a round about way of saying UK must swallow backstop. /2
Sep 3, 2018 7 tweets 5 min read
Chequers is dead - like the murder on the Orient Express - it is killed by many hands.

So what next? My latest (Short thread)… Shorter:

No-one like's @theresa_may nifty dual tariff customs fix. Not the Brexiteers. Not the EU. Not Business.

So she can do Chequers 2.0. Make concessions and try to sell in Westminister against 'no deal' chaos late in the day. /2
Aug 30, 2018 18 tweets 5 min read
Some very breathless reporting/reading of @MichelBarnier remarks y'day. So what is happening on #Brexit? Some thoughts on talking with both sides. 1/Thread @MichelBarnier First Barnier. To be clear, it was absolutely orthodox. We respect UK red lines, but within those limits will give UK broadest ever FTA and Association Agreement. It's EXACTLY what he said on Aug 2 OpEd: "unprecedented in scope and depth." /2…
Aug 28, 2018 16 tweets 3 min read
The #Brexit crunch is coming, so after the summer break I've written a piece looking at the 10 questions we should be looking at....but are too busy shouting at each other to consider. Here are my ten... /1… questions How much clout does a nation of 65 million people have in global trade?
Aug 16, 2018 22 tweets 19 min read
Why did the European Commission not publish killer assessments of May's 'single market for goods' #Brexit pitch? How did the Brits get hold of them so quickly? Some thoughts. 1/THREAD… First the bugging part. Did the spooks at GCHQ/MI6 have a hand in procuring the slides, or contents thereof, from the July 5 Article 50 Working Group?

Frankly, who knows? It's sure not impossible - recall Obama's NSA bugged Merkel - but EU concerns speak to the lack of trust/2
Aug 2, 2018 13 tweets 4 min read
Is @MichelBarnier feeling nervous that the European Commission and Task Force 50 are at risk of being isolated by @theresa_may #Brexit diplomacy?

He's published an OpEd in 20 papers. Mostly boilerplate, but some lines to read between. 1/

@MichelBarnier @theresa_may First the isolation point. Doth M. Barnier protest too much? What need this OpEd now? The mandate is the mandate, after all, so why the need to restate these positions while everyone is on holiday?

Not to be over-stated, but.... /2
Jul 25, 2018 22 tweets 8 min read
Olly Robbins is in Brussels today for more #Brexit talks.

Top of the agenda is the 'insoluble' Irish backstop issue - but how 'insoluble' it really? Is there a way through?

Maybe. Some thoughts after chats with both sides. 1/Thread… First, the problem, real quick.

EU needs 'backstop' that works in all eventualities, including a breakdown in future relationship talks at the end of transition.

With no border in Ireland, there "must" logically be checks between NI and GB to protect single market. /2
Jul 16, 2018 18 tweets 7 min read
The Chequers plan is dying. May faces rebellion on both sides. She can survive, but not proceed. So what happens next? Some thoughts after chats with both sides.

(Shorter: it's still all about the Irish backstop)

1/Thread As talks get under way in Brussels today, the EU can:

a) attack - eviscerate Chequers for cherry picking

b) parry - play for time, probe UK real red lines

c) focus on what is deliverable to conclude Withdrawal Agreement in Autumn /2

More here:…
Jul 9, 2018 5 tweets 3 min read
As @borisjohnson quits the Chequers strategy is now holed below the waterline.

It required Brexiteers to willfully buy into fiction that May's mad customs plan was deliverable, even at a later date.

That has now failed. 1/ @BorisJohnson The basic plan - as @DavidDavisMP and @BorisJohnson identified - was to get the EU to buy the Chequers idea with a nod and a wink, knowing full well that massive concessions were coming down the line.

On money, on the level-playing field, on regulatory alignment. But.../2
Jul 6, 2018 9 tweets 3 min read
So @MichelBarnier
may have appeared to pull his punches today, but don't be fooled. He stuck firmly to EU guns.

This is a key word "de-dramatise" and you'll hear it a lot more - and it is not good news for Mrs May. Here's why /1 If EU sticks to guns on cherry-picking, then that leaves UK with basic FTA...and that means an Irish sea goods border.

When Barnier says "de-dramatise" he means May and Davis need to give over on their contention that such a border is a threat to UK constitutional integrity /2
Jul 5, 2018 15 tweets 3 min read
This week I wrote 2,000 words explaining why the EU will "shoot down" May's 'third way'...…

And this morning a column on why they shouldn't do it. /1… We keep saying both sides needs to find a space between Canada Dry and Norway plus, but at risk of stating the obvious, that is easier said than done.

Hard battle lines are being drawn up in the Commission. Exasperation levels are reaching danger levels. /2
Jul 2, 2018 10 tweets 3 min read
The 'third way' is now the new thing in the #Brexit debate. Like No.10 suddenly discovered something last weekend after two years of trying.

So here's a long read on why there are no magic bullets to fix the customs conundrum - my latest… On the upside, a 'third way' carries implicit acknowledgement that the first two ways (the MaxFax and the New Customs Partnership) cannot solve the need for a border in the Irish Sea, if May wants to leave Customs Union and Single Market.

So what might the 'third way' be? /2